Book 2: Chapter 203
“I’ve heard many rumors that the Fighters in Lirua are much weaker than they are thought to be.”
As he said this Lee Jong-hak ran his fingers through his blood-soaked hair.
“But this makes me feel something beyond disappointment.”
He had killed many people here even though they weren’t Demons.
…It made him feel dirty.
Not because he committed murder. This was Combat Island, and taking the life of another was considered relatively common here.
It was hard to understand with the common sense of an ‘earthling’, but the Fighters here wouldn’t be upset even if their opponent was to kill them.
Of course, this death was usually a condition that came at the end of a life or death battle.
If it was an enemy they acknowledged, then they would gracefully accept the sword in their heart, and pray that their opponent’s path would be paved with blessings.
They didn’t want the person who defeated and killed them to remain on an insignificant level.
That way, if that Fighter managed to one day become a powerful person after overcoming countless tribulations, they could be proud of the fact that they were in that Fighter’s memories.
The thing Fighters feared the most was being forgotten. And the thing they longed for the most was for their names to remain as legends even thousands of years later.
In a way, it could be said that they were a race who risked their lives for honor, but Lee Jong-hak actually liked their mindset. This was because it was impossible to foster such a mindset without pride.
Over the past two years, Lee Jong-hak had adapted to living on Combat Island to an extent.
That’s why he didn’t hesitate to take another’s life, and that’s why he didn’t feel bitter after basically committing murder.
But this was different.
The more he swung his sword, the dirtier he felt, and the more a foreign feeling grew in his heart.
This was probably because the people he was fighting and killing now were those who had already lost their pride as Fighters.
Samash, the Champion of Lirua, glared at Lee Jong-hak with wide eyes.
“Have you been hiding your strength?”
“Otherwise, how can a man like you not be a Champion…!”
Samash shouted in disbelief.
He knew Lee Jong-hak.
He had appeared in the Babylon Arena like a comet and quickly shot up the rankings to take third place.
He was a strong contender who was almost guaranteed to take part in the Championship.
Samash had heard that he was an outsider, but it wasn’t that strange for outsiders to participate in the Championship on Combat Island.
“You are weak. Samash.”
“Cut the crap…! Do you not see this weapon? This armor?”
Samash pointed to his equipment and shouted.
“It’s not just our equipment! We also receive systematic training that maximises our physical ability…! The efficiency of our training program is different from those losers who only exhaust themselves in useless fights!”
“The important part of training isn’t just the quantifiable data. Your physical ability might have improved, but I cannot sense any tension from you.”
Lee Jong-hak didn’t feel like saying anything more.
Even if he were to explain it, in his current state, Samash would never be able to understand.
He couldn’t stop himself from letting out a soft sigh.
The loss of tension due to the match-fixing and years of indulgence had caused these Fighters, who were once skilled, to become rusty.
Tightening his grip on his sword, Lee Jong-hak rushed in.
Samash reacted hastily, but it was too late.
They only had two exchanges, but Samash felt his sword slip out of his hand following the pain of his wrist breaking.
The lost sword flew high into the sky.
Lee Jong-hak glared at the now defenseless Samash.
His sword rose from beneath Samash’s left armpit until it swept past his ear.
Samash screamed as his blood gushed out.
He staggered back a few times, unable to withstand the pain.
However, Lee Jong-hak had no intention of being satisfied after taking one arm.
He fiercely pursued Samash, whose body was full of openings.
And pierced his heart with his sword.
Samash coughed up a mouthful of blood and grabbed Lee Jong-hak’s arm with a wronged expression on his face.
“I, I… didn’t do anything wr-…”
But his head lowered before he could finish his sentence.
Lee Jong-hak withdrew his sword.
Then he shook the blood off of his sword as he let out an uncomfortable sigh.
It didn’t feel good at all.
* * *
[You have killed the Tyrant of Lirua, Kangki.]
[The darkness enshrouding the major city, Lirua, has dissipated greatly.]
[Obtained the title ‘Major City Lord Slayer’]
[Revealing the title Major City Lord Slayer can lead to the hostility and fear of most Dragonmen. It is advised that the participant doesn’t reveal this title until the evil deeds of ‘Kangki’ have been completely unveiled.]
Lukas ignored the voice as he walked over to Lee Jong-hak.
“Looks like it’s all over.”
Lee Jong-hak’s head was lowered as he polished his sword with smooth, disciplined movements.
“Did you kill all of them?”
“Some of them are still alive.”
After looking around the arena for a moment, Lukas turned to Lee Jong-hak again. To be precise, he looked at Lee Jong-hak’s arm.
“It seems your right arm was injured badly.”
At Lukas’ words, Lee Jong-hak looked down at his arm.
The flesh was torn. The wound was much deeper than he thought. So deep in fact, that his bones were visible. Of course, there were many small wounds all over his body, but this one was the most severe.
He must be in terrible pain from having his flesh cut out, but Lee Jong-hak simply nodded with a slight frown on his face.
“I’m fine. Rather than that, Kangki…”
His gaze went behind Lukas. There, a raging fire blazed, and the shape of whatever was being burned was no longer visible.
“He’s been dealt with.”
After being silent for a while, Lee Jong-hak finally opened his mouth again.
“What are you going to do now?”
As he said this, he looked around the Lirua Arena.
“Even if the other Major City Lords successfully suppress any rebellion, the citizens of this land won’t easily accept Kangki’s death.”
That wasn’t all.
It wasn’t just Kangki, but also most of the powerful Fighters who supported the Lirua Arena who had died.
Among them was the Champion, Samash, as well as Usa and Padudu, who ranked second and third.
On Combat Island, where the strength of a city was determined by the number and skills of its Fighters, Lirua had suffered a blow that could not be healed in a short time.
“I will announce the match-fixing and Kangki’s death.”
“Then it will be up to the citizens of Lirua.”
When he heard Lukas’ words, Lee Jong-hak smiled wryly.
“You’re being irresponsible.”
“Because it’s not my responsibility.”
This might have sounded cold at first, but Lukas continued.
“Most of the citizens in this city were not aware of the match-fixing.”
“I did an investigation before deciding what to do. Although most of them were unaware, at least one in five citizens realised what was happening. And even if they didn’t know exactly what was happening, they should have had some suspicions.”
“Nevertheless, they didn’t think about investigating it or digging into it. Instead, they pretended that they didn’t notice anything.”
He shook his head.
“I’m not saying that they are wrong for doing that.”
Of course, those who chose to fight back were deserving of praise, but that didn’t mean that they should curse those who chose to bow down in the face of power. Especially because this matter was not directly linked to their survival.
“Nevertheless, they still have to take responsibility. The benefits of being citizens of a major city that they’ve enjoyed so far were all byproducts of lies and deceit.”
Many would probably leave Lirua because they were unable to accept this.
Nevertheless, that was also the fate of this city.
Suddenly, someone staggered to their feet. The momentum of Lee Jong-hak, who had never let down his guard, quickly rose once again, but he soon calmed down.
This was because the person who was slowly stumbling towards them was not an enemy.
“…please wait a moment.”
Lukas turned towards this person.
“Your body has already reached its limit. You need to rest and receive treatment as soon as possible. Otherwise, there will be aftereffects.”
In fact, it was amazing that he was still conscious at that moment. He was probably moving his body through sheer willpower rather than physical strength.
However, Bargan slowly shook his head when he heard Lukas’ words.
“Thank you for your concern. However… There is something I would like to tell you before I allow myself to faint.”